Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Program by B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Events: Saturday, May 24, 2014


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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #9
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

What's The Motivation?

Saturday, May 24, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W180 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AAB; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Steve Martin, None
Chair: Susan G. Friedman (Utah State University)
STEVE MARTIN (Natural Encounters, Inc.)
Steve Martin has been a master falconer for more than 45 years, a parrot trainer for 50 years, and began his professional animal-training career when he set up the first-of-its-kind, free-flight, educational bird show at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in 1976. Since then, he has produced or consulted on educational bird shows at more than 80 facilities in 15 countries. In 1984, Mr. Martin began teaching the science of behavior change to animal keepers at zoos and aquariums to enhance the husbandry, medical care, and enrichment of exhibit animals. He has now served as an animal behavior consultant for more than 50 zoological facilities in more than 20 countries. He also has served as a core team member of the California Condor Recovery Team. Currently, he currently an instructor at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Animal Training School; an instructor at the Elephant Training and Management School in Hamburg, Germany; a trustee with the World Parrot Trust; and president of Natural Encounters, Inc. (NEI), a company of more than 30 professional animal trainers. He earned his certification as a professional bird trainer and continues to teach workshops for professional animal trainers at the NEI training facility in Florida.
Abstract:

In this presentation, the construct of motivation will be explored. A motivated animal is operationalized as one who engages in the training dialogue with quick response to discriminative stimuli. Historically, force and coercion were the tools used to motivate animals in zoological settings. Fortunately, those methods are being replaced with more positive approaches. But, even with the current groundswell of positive reinforcement training in zoos, much mythology and poor training practices surround the need to motivate animals. These include putting the blame on the animal, misrepresenting scientific principals, as well as lowering animals' weights to unacceptable levels. Mr. Martin's experience has shaped a training technology, based on antecedent arrangement and positive reinforcement that allows him to successfully work with highly empowered animals. This success depends on approaches such as sensitive reading of body language, high rates of reinforcement, and clear communication of criteria. With these approaches, welfare is increased as animals learn to use their behavior more effectively.

Target Audience:

Behavior analysts working with or interested in animals in any training or management capacity.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Describe three skills in arranging the environment to make the target behavior easier for the animal to perform; (2)  List three ways to increase motivation in animals without reducing the animal's weight to unhealthy levels; (3) Observe and describe at least one antecedent stimulus or condition to account for poor animal performance so as not to place blame on the animal; and (4) Explain the effective use of conditional reinforcers in association with back-up reinforcers to reinforce desirable behavior.
Keyword(s): animal behavior, antecedent stimuli, motivation, training
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #10
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Pushing the Envelope: Just How Early can we Identify Anomalous Development in ASD?

Saturday, May 24, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Jennifer N. Fritz, Ph.D.
Chair: Jennifer N. Fritz (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
PAULINE A. FILIPEK (The University of Texas Health Science Center)
Dr. Pauline A. Filipek is a professor of pediatrics in the Children's Learning Institute (CLI) and Division of Child and Adolescent Neurology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston. She received her B.S. and M.D. from Georgetown University; and she completed a pediatric residency (including chief residency) at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester and a child neurology fellowship and MRI-based Morphometry Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She was recruited to the Children's Learning Institute because of her expertise in clinical and research aspects of children with autistic spectrum disorders and is the director of the CLI's Autism Center. Although her clinical practice is open to children of all ages with autistic spectrum disorders, her specific clinical and research interests surround the earliest identification of warning signs for autism and related disorders in very young infants, even before the first birthday. Dr. Filipek also is the ambassador for Texas to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Learn the Signs. Act Early. Initiative and recently received the Texas Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) and the Texas Autism State Planning grants, both from Health Resources and Services Administration.
Abstract:

The earliest identification of atypical development among very young infants at risk for a later diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is important to facilitate the earliest possible intervention. Existing literature generally presents that anomalous development is not identifiable until the end of the first year of life. However, this is discordant with clinical anecdotes supporting the premise that, in at least some infants, consistent anomalous behaviors may be identified very early, as early as at ages 3-6 months or even before, that may reliably predict an eventual determination of ASD. Dr. Filipek will first present the course of typical development in the first year of life through video segments to focus on the development of social communication as the hallmark target of atypical development. The existing literature pertaining to findings of anomalous development in the first year of life will be briefly reviewed, with specific attention to study designs focusing on infants who are or are not "at risk" versus infants who eventually are or are not diagnosed with ASD. The newest findings will be presented to document the existence of anomalous development as early as at 3 months of age.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in autism.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Discuss the more “subtle” aspects of infant development, particularly those of social communication; (2) Identify signs of anomalous development in very young infants; and (3) Discuss the existing literature pertaining to identification of early signs of ASD in very young infants.
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #13
CE Offered: BACB

Rocky Waters or Smooth Sailing: Student-Teacher Relationships and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Saturday, May 24, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W196b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Jan Blacher, Ph.D.
Chair: Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (The University of Kansas)
JAN BLACHER (University of California, Riverside)
Jan Blacher is a distinguished professor of education and the University of California presidential chair at the University of California, Riverside. She holds a Ph.D. in special education/developmental pychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Blacher is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability, the American Association on Mental Retardation, and the American Psychological Association. She has an international reputation for her research in autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, and she has published widely in these areas. Her work has examined the effects of out-of-home placement on children and young adults, family functioning when a child has a disability, and the impact of diagnosis, assessment, services, and coping in Latino children and families. Dr. Blacher has two current lines of research, both supported by external funding. One line of research, funded by the Institute for Education Sciences, examines factors affecting transition to school for young children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. A second line, funded by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, examines familial relationships when a child has a diagnosis of intellectual delay.
Abstract:

Inclusive school settings for young children with autism spectrum disorder are increasingly the norm. However, we know little about how to ensure a successful transition from early intervention to public or nonpublic schooling. All too often disputes about where and how a child with ASD will be placed when beginning school lead to mediation, fair hearings, or even court. It is important to obtain empirical evidence on aspects of the classroom, the teacher, the family, and the child that could affect these placement decisions and maximize a successful transition. This presentation will draw on data from two longitudinal studies (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Institute of Education Sciences) that specifically address the role of student-teacher-relationships (STRs) in positive school outcomes for children with ASD. Predictors of STRs will be identified for children with ASD as well as for two comparison groups (typically developing children and children with intellectual disabilities). For the ASD group, the role of parent involvement and parent-teacher-relationships in determining STRs also will be highlighted. New data on the role of STRs, child characteristics, and parenting behaviors in children's emergent literacy skills will be discussed, and implications for school practices identified.

Keyword(s): ASD, Parental involvement, School transition
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #14
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Leadership Seminar: Culture Change in a Medical School: The Role of Behavioral Assessments

Saturday, May 24, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W190a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.
Chair: Lori H. Diener-Ludwig (Zimmet Group)
THOMAS L. SCHWENK (University of Nevada School of Medicine), Melissa Piasecki (University of Nevada School of Medicine), Timothy Baker (University of Nevada School of Medicine)
Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., is a professor of family medicine, dean of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, and vice president for Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno. Before this role, he was chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan for 25 years. He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering and an M.D. from the University of Michigan, and trained in family medicine, including a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Faculty Development Fellowship, at the University of Utah. He is board-certified in family medicine and sports medicine. His research primarily focuses on the care of depression and mental illness in primary care. His more recent work has addressed the issue of depression in special populations, including medical students and physicians. He served on the board of the American Board of Family Medicine and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2002.
Abstract:

The nature of clinical practice, biomedical research, and medical education in a medical school rewards independent, entrepreneurial, risk-taking behavior by its faculty. These behaviors, while successful in many regards, also result in a fragmented, nonhierarchical, “flat” faculty structure and culture that is somewhat peculiar to medical schools. These cultural forces have been magnified at the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) by years of economic and political assaults that left UNSOM with a particularly high level of disengagement, reduced faculty satisfaction anda highly centralized leadership structure that disempowered department chairs and detracted from faculty ownership and investment in UNSOM missions. The speakers will describe strategies used to assess and transform the culture of UNSOM using behavioral systems approaches in order to adapt to changing social demands on the organization (e.g., culturally competent physicians and community engagement). The goals are greater faculty engagement, an emphasis on faculty career development, explicit commitments to achieving individual career and institutional objectives, more decentralized leadership, and a focus on communication, investment, accountability, transparency, and partnership. The use of behavioral assessments will drive socially significant practices within and external to the organization.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students and anyone interested in how a culture can be changed by behavior analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants should be able to (1) Describe the unique characteristics of medical school culture from a behavioral systems perspective; (2) Identify a behavioral analytic approach to assess faculty attitudes; and (3) Discuss the application of a relational response measure for implicit bias in medical students and opportunities for curricular intervention. 
Keyword(s): education, leadership, Leadership Seminar
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #35
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Behavioral Indicators of Welfare: A Balance-Based Approach

Saturday, May 24, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W180 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AAB; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Jason Watters, Ph.D.
Chair: Lindsay Mehrkam (University of Florida)
JASON WATTERS (San Francisco Zoo)
Jason Watters received his Ph.D. in animal behavior from the University of California at Davis. His research interests have covered numerous topics in animal behavior. For example, he has studied mating systems, behavioral development, and the causes and consequences of behavioral syndromes' animal personalities. Dr. Watters' research program currently focuses on learning and behavioral indicators of welfare in zoo animals. His studies have investigated behavioral issues in numerous species including insects, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. In addition to his Ph.D. in animal behavior, he earned a certificate in exotic animal training and management and has held positions at zoos and aquariums. Currently, Dr. Watters oversees a program charged with measuring and ensuring animal wellness at the San Francisco Zoo and is also the executive editor of the journal Zoo Biology. [Photo by Jim Schultz, Chicago Zoological Society]
Abstract:

Individuals who manage the welfare of zoo animals seek practical approaches to caring for a diversity of species. In general, animal managers hope to understand animals' behavioral needs, how animals express their experiences of positive welfare, and how to ensure that positive experiences balance any negative ones. Research findings in several fields, including psychology, neuroscience, animal behavior, and zoo biology, indicate core behavioral needs. Combined, the evidence suggests that animals who can express these needs are psychologically and emotionally enriched. Here, Dr. Watters will describe the core behavioral needs of investigating, acquiring reward and exerting control. He will describe a developing "balance-based" approach designed to ascertain the frequency with which these needs are met and not met in an animal's life through behavioral observation. Various behaviors indicate the presence or absence of opportunities to meet the core needs and Dr. Watters will challenge the assumption that the behavioral repertoire of zoo animals should mirror that of animals in the wild. He will emphasize that animal welfare depends upon the balance individuals can obtain between meeting and not meeting their behavioral needs. Animals that are out of balance in the simple sense that they have few opportunities for positive experiences are in a state of welfare that can be improved.

Target Audience:

Behavior analysts who have an interest in zoo animal behavior and welfare

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Understand a new approach to assessing animal welfare--one that is focused on evaluating animals' core needs and develops a new behavioral analysis to do this; (2) Explain the basic principles of constructing animal welfare "balance sheets;" and (3) Understand the issues associated with the classification of behavior. Specifically, participants will be exposed to the problems associated with misclassifying behaviors associated with animal learning.  
Keyword(s): animal behavior, animal welfare
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #43
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Key Themes in School-Based Mental Health

Saturday, May 24, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W196b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Cynthia M. Anderson, Ph.D.
Chair: Cynthia M. Anderson (Appalachian State University)
MARK D. WEIST (University of South Carolina)
Mark D. Weist is a professor and director of the Clinical-Community Program in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Carolina. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Virginia Tech in 1991. For 19 years, he was on the faculty of the University of Maryland, where he helped to found and direct the Center for School Mental Health, one of two national centers providing leadership to the advancement of school mental health policies and programs in the United States. He is currently leading federally and university funded research grants on Quality in School Mental Health, Assisting High School Youth with Emotional Disabilities, and Developing and Testing Integrated Health-Mental Health Promotion for Youth in Schools. He helped found the International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools (INTERCAMHS). Dr. Weist has edited seven books and has two more in progress. He has published and presented widely in the school mental health field and in the areas of trauma, violence, and youth, evidence-based practice, and cognitive behavioral therapy. With colleagues from the Clifford Beers Foundation and the University of Maryland, he edits Advances in School Mental Health Promotion with new publisher Routledge of Taylor & Francis.
Abstract:

School mental health programs and services reflect a "shared agenda" involving schools, families, and other community systems working together to promote student health and wellness and reduce nonacademic barriers to learning. With its emphasis on research-proven intervention strategies and low-inference decision-making, behavior analysis (and behavioral psychology more generally) plays a key role in school mental health. A main focus of school mental health programs is to help schools adopt and sustain evidence-based practices with a focus on prevention and intervention. School mental health has received increased attention in recent years, because of wider recognition of difficulties students can face and policy changes reflecting renewed interest in social behavior interventions and data-based decision-making. In this presentation, key themes facing the school mental health movement will be described. In addition, strategies for assisting schools in the identification, adoption and high fidelity implementation of evidence-based interventions will be described. Dr. Weist will review prominent policy directions and describe the National Community of Practice and its initiatives and resources.

Target Audience:

Master's and doctoral level behavior analysts conducting research or practice supporting typically developing students in school settings.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to (1) Identify key themes in school mental health. (2) Describe evidence-based interventions appropriate for use in school settings. (3) Identify federal and state-level policies affecting service delivery in schools. (4) Describe a research agenda to forward behavior analysis and school-based mental health.        
Keyword(s): intervention, prevention, shared agenda
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #63
CE Offered: BACB

Repetitive Behavior in Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Clinical and Translational Findings

Saturday, May 24, 2014
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: SCI; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Iser Guillermo DeLeon, Ph.D.
Chair: Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
MARK HENRY LEWIS (University of Florida)
Dr. Lewis joined the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida in 1992 as an associate professor of psychiatry and neuroscience. He completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology graduating magna cum laude at Bowdoin College, a master’s degree in psychology at Western Michigan University, and a doctorate in psychology at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Lewis also completed postdoctoral training in neuropharmacology at the University of North Carolina. He is currently associate chair for research in the Department of Psychiatry, a professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, and psychology and the executive director of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) at UF. Dr. Lewis is a highly respected member of some of the most prestigious federal peer review groups including chair of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Special Emphasis Panel on Chronic Aberrant Behavior and a member of the NICHD Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers, the NIMH ARRA Autism Review, and the Department of Defense Autism Research Program. He is also an ad hoc reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Lewis is on the External Advisory Board for the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Center at the University of North Carolina and the editorial review boards for the American Journal on Mental Retardation and the Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities. Dr. Lewis is a highly respected teacher and faculty adviser mentoring many students in the field of research. He is the recipient of the Georgia Department of Human Resources Educational Stipend Award, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Exceptional Merit Award, and the Frank Porter Graham Innovative Research Award.
Abstract:

Aberrant repetitive behaviors (e.g., stereotypies, compulsions, and rituals) are diagnostic for autism and frequently observed in related neurodevelopmental disorders. Despite this, relatively little is known about the neurobiological mechanisms that mediate the development and expression of these repetitive behaviors. This lack of knowledge precludes effective early intervention and prevention strategies. Clinical studies have provided only very limited findings based on a small number of neuroimaging and genetic studies. Moreover, there is little evidence for the efficacy of pharmacotherapy for repetitive behaviors in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Valid animal models can aid substantially in identifying pathophysiological factors mediating aberrant repetitive behavior and aid in treatment development.The talkwill review findings from animal models of repetitive behavior, highlighting environmental factors and the role of altered cortical-basal ganglia circuitry in the development and expression of these behaviors. Dr. Lewis also will review pharmacological studies that have identified novel potential therapeutic targets for clinical drug development.

Keyword(s): neurobiological mechanisms , neurodevelopmental disorders, pharmacotherapy, repetitive behaviors
 
 
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #90
CE Offered: BACB

Positive Reinforcers, Pills, and Physicians: Collaborating to Help Children with ASD Learn

Saturday, May 24, 2014
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Nicole Luke, Ph.D.
Chair: Nicole Luke (Surrey Place Centre)
ALVIN LOH (Surrey Place Centre)
Dr. Alvin Loh is the developmental pediatrician and chief of medical services at Surrey Place Centre. He is an assistant professor in the Division of Developmental Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. He is one of the lead investigators in the Autism Treatment Network (ATN)—Toronto site, which is one of 17 sites in North America. The network aims to improve the standard of medical care for children with autism, through research and the creation and sharing of clinical toolkits and algorithms. He has current research interests in toddlers with autism and regression. Dr. Loh is passionate about improving collaboration between medical professionals and behaviorists to improve the care for children and youth with challenging behaviors.  
Abstract:

This talk will cover core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder and will discuss the current pharmacological approach to targeting symptoms of ASD. Educating caregivers is important when considering medication, and it is helpful to remember the medical contributors to disruptive behavior. Behavior analysts can help to identify the function of behavior and how the environment may be arranged to improve outcomes. Physicians can help treat symptoms of a disorder and identify interfering medical issues. Both have common goals for an individual client and the family’s improved quality of life. When doctors and behavior analysts can work together, they can improve the support they provide to families and children.

 

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